Sam Smith on Chicago Bulls’ Adama Sanogo - “He seems like a Paul Millsap type” 

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Former UConn star Adama Sanogo

Adama Sanogo was likely not expecting to become a Chicago Bulls player this time last week.

Heading into the recent 2023 NBA draft, the Bulls were without a single pick. Yet, they wound up trading into the second round and landing the 35th overall pick, which they used to select Julian Phillips.

The Bulls later signed the undrafted Sanogo to a two-way contract. Sanogo is coming off a phenomenal season, leading the UConn Huskies to an NCAA National Championship.

As a junior, Adama Sanogo averaged 17.2 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game while shooting 60.6 percent from the field and 36.5 from beyond the arc.

Sanogo was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. He became the first African-born player to win the award since Hakeem Olajuwon did so back in 1983 with the Houston Cougars.

Bulls writer Sam Smith compared Adama Sanogo to former NBA All-Star Paul Millsap (via NBA.com):

"Anyway, he seems like a Paul Millsap type. He’s probably not the 6-foot-9 as advertised, but I’m a Pat Riley rebounds-equal-rings type even if Pat wasn’t with his current team. I remember the Millsap draft and asking some scout how it is this guy leads the nation in rebounding and isn’t a first rounder. Low ceiling, he said, though I thought he was referring to the cloud cover.
"Same with Jalen Brunson when scouts were saying he wasn’t an NBA player because of size and speed. But I kept saying he always wins; just as Millsap always got the ball. It seems like this guy does, also, and those are good risks. Nice potential pickup."

Looking at Paul Millsap's career following Adama Sanogo comparison

Former Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap
Former Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap

Paul Millsap was selected by the Utah Jazz in the second round (47th overall pick) of the 2006 NBA draft. He had a 16-year career playing for the Jazz, Atlanta Hawks, Denver Nuggets, Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers.

The former Louisiana Tech standout was a four-time All-Star and was once named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team.

Adama Sanogo has drawn comparisons to Millsap due to being an undersized big man. Millsap is roughly 6'7" and 260 pounds. At the NBA Combine, Sanogo measured at 6-foot-7 (1/4) without shoes and weighed in at 257.8 pounds.

We'll see what type of career Sanogo ends up putting together. It seems a bit of a stretch to say he's the next Paul Millsap. Developing into a four-time All-Star is a tough task for anyone. But you never know, he can certainly score and rebound. Plus, he's a solid shooting big man.

If Adama Sanogo does the right things consistently, we may hear this comparison a lot in the future.

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Edited by John Maxwell